I want to share an important alert from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) about some election year scams.  BBB is reporting that scammers have found new ways to try and profit from our being civic minded.  You might not fall victim to either of the scams but please let others know about them.

So here’s the first scam BBB reported.  Scammers are calling people saying that they’re offering a “free cruise” if the person will take a political survey.  Of course, there’s no “free” anything at the end of the survey except for the personal financial information unsuspecting people will be giving the scammers.  Why?  Because at the end of the call the scammer says that the person has to provide either a credit or debit card number to cover the “port fees” and any taxes associated with the cruise prize.  Anyone who hesitates to do so is then subjected to pressure tactics and the lie that the deal is only good for this call and then expires.

Here’s the second scam.  Scammers will call saying they’re doing fundraising for a political campaign.  The scammers are smart so their pitch will sound legitimate. Let’s say you want to check out whether this is really a legitimate campaign fundraising call so you ask for a callback number.  That’s always a good protective step.  However, as BBB notes, not necessarily in this case since the scammers know people do this.  The number you might be given won’t, of course, be for a legitimate campaign staff but for one of their other scammers.

Equally important, the scammer will say that they need to confirm your eligibility to vote.  What do they say they need to do so?  If you guessed personal and/or financial information you’re absolutely right!  The scammer asks for your credit card or Social Security Number to do so.  If you’re registered to vote, your respective State and/or county has that information.  You would not be contacted by phone or email from either asking you to confirm your voter eligibility status.

The BBB article has warnings about other scams including the one about which I wrote previously (i.e., that the President will pay your utility bills).  Their article can be found on their website as follows: http://www.bbb.org/us/article/Dont-Let-Election-Scammers-Count-on-Your-Support-This-Election-Season-36146.

Don’t provide any of this information under either of the above scam scenarios.  These types of election year scams will only increase and the scammers want to do everything they can to profit from our good intentions.